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The Hidden Treasures of Budapest

Whatever the duration of your break – a 24-hour stop over or a seven-day visit – there is an abundant variety of historical attractions, eateries, drinking hotspots, vibrant nightlife and unique outdoor spa experiences to whet any appetite.

Budapest exudes youthful energy yet also boasts a world-class classical music scene; and, with an eclectic mix of history, culture, nature and architecture, there truly is something for all ages and interests.

It is also well connected by budget airlines from all over Europe, with public transport connectivity from the airport to the city centre being particularly good, which makes it ideal for a cheap city break.

The city offers a wealth of history around every corner and its beauty quickly becomes apparent. Particularly fascinating is the journey on the funicular railway up to the Castle District. Here you will arrive at the Fisherman’s Bastion – an elevated architectural masterpiece offering panoramic views of the Danube. From here you can see the magnificent architecture, which includes the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge.

Other highlights include Buda Castle, the statue of Gellert, and Heroes Square. The Budapest Council have wisely adopted a policy that forbids any building being taller than 96 metres so that none of its historic skyline is obstructed.

With good reason, Budapest has now become one of Europe’s best-loved short-break destinations. The city has been nicknamed the ‘Paris of the East’ with its two distinctive cities of Buda and Pest being divided by the beautiful Danube River. On summer evenings, you can take a gentle stroll along the river bank or relax with a glass (or two) of vino on a river cruise when the fabulous Budapest skyline is further enhanced with all the buildings and bridges being illuminated.

During the morning you can browse around colourful market stalls, shopping for a variety of traditional Bohemian crafts. Later, after sampling some traditional cuisine at lunch, soak in a natural outdoor thermal bath before heading out ‘after dark’ for a drink in the crumbling courtyard of an atmospheric ‘Ruin Bar’.

A variety of culinary delights are served in these bar-cum-restaurants with menus to suit any budget.

Budapest hotels range from good value to high-end opulent palaces. And, wherever you stay in the city, the ‘A-listed’ sights are rarely more than a short walk away; or take a trip on one of the iconic faded yellow trams tracing the banks of the Danube.

Prices start from £299 per person for a three-night break with direct flights from Manchester with Jet2 on a B&B basis.

A glass of beer is around £1.40 and a three-course meal around £24. You can buy a 48 hour travel card for £28, which will take you to the main sights and includes many admission fees.

If you have a week to spare, then a River Cruise on the Danube is a great way of seeing the sights at leisure whilst enjoying first-class onboard facilities. Prices start from as low as £1,000 per person.

Time Difference: +1 hour
Currency: Hungarian Forint:£1 = approx. 370 HUF
Flying Time: 2.5 hours from Manchester

Top Tips:

·     Opt for one of the ‘free’ Walking Tours of Budapest: because the guides rely solely on tips, you’re guaranteed to have a great experience!
·     “Hello” is Helló (Hell-oh),
·     “Cheers” (for drinking) is Egészségedre (Egg-ace-Shag-Edre). This was the  only word which I found essential!

·      Try the local beers such as: Arany Aszok, Soproni, Dreher

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